L.A. County begins COVID-19 booster shots

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Los Angeles County is now offering COVID-19 vaccine boosters, health officials said Friday, marking a significant new step in the effort to armor the population against the still-potent pandemic.
The county's swift move follows federal recommendations that certain older or high-risk residents can receive a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months after their initial inoculation series.

"Starting today, eligible Los Angeles County residents can begin receiving their booster dose at any of the hundreds of sites offering the Pfizer vaccine," public health director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement Friday morning. "The booster dose offers enhanced protection for those fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine six months ago who are at increased risk of getting COVID-19 and/or experiencing severe illness from COVID. The L.A. County vaccination network is prepared to offer boosters today while continuing to prioritize getting first doses to those eligible and not yet vaccinated."

County officials said residents interested in getting a booster would need to show proof they previously received both required Pfizer-BioNTech doses — such as their physical vaccination card, a photo of it or a digital record.


"At many sites, residents may be asked to sign an attestation form indicating they meet the criteria to receive the booster," officials added in a statement.

Under the established criteria — announced late Thursday night by the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky — a third Pfizer-BioNTech dose should be given to those 65 and older, residents in long-term care settings, and those age 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions.

The CDC also said younger adults with underlying medical conditions may get a booster, as well as adults age 18 to 64 at increased risk for coronavirus exposure because of occupational or institutional settings.

Decisions on whether to administer additional shots to those who got the Moderna or single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be made at a later date.

The status of Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots elsewhere in California is unclear. The…
Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin II
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